Day 7 Mary Hill to Crow Butte

93 km today - Long day. Started out on the Maryhill  Hiway (I would really like to meet the knucklehead who named a gravel road a hiway) which turned out to be a gravel road of river rock with patches of crushed rock. Lightly traveled leaving patches of really loose stones. At km 7.5 I finally dumped the bike and ended up pushing it until km 11.7 where it was paved. Took about 2 hours for what should have been a maximum of 40 minutes and burned a lot more energy than planned, including a 1 km round trip to retrieve a bag that fell off right after the accident. 

The ride from the beginning of the pavement until just outside Roosevelt (total travel 50 km) had me deciding to stop at Roosevelt Campground until an oncoming rider crossed the hiway to say hello. Isaac Witt is from Gloucester Maine  and has been traveling the northern Tier with trips into Canada. He has a year and a half to go and plans to ride south to Patagonia. He told me how cool Crow Butte was and talked me into finishing there. Turns out the road was mostly flat and the afternoon wind added the equivalent of two gears which made the trip really fast. 

I did stop in The Minimart/Cafe in Roosevelt and had a hot bowl of split pea soop with a large cup of coffee. Got a great turkey and bacon sandwich and double chocolate cake to go for dinner. The cafe has a bicycle diary that they offer to cyclists to write a note. Kind of cool and they were on volume 3. Would make interesting reading.

Crow Butte campground is nice. Caroll, the camp host allows cyclists to stay for free. Showers were 3 minutes for a quarter while last night at Mary Hill it was fifty cents for 3 minutes. Turns out 6 minutes is a comfortable shower time with some leftover just to enjoy the hot water. The campground is located on an island accessible by road from the east end. Cool to camp on an island in the Columbia River although the campground position means no cell phone or data. Really roughing it, 

Was planning a short day tomorrow to position myself for a long ride to a campground past Walla Walla until Caroll told me about a campground not on my map. Will get me half way to the next campground and let me shop for food in Walla Walla. Won't be much farther to the first mountains - choke